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Quant a miWhenever I visit somebody’s home, I wander over to their bookcases at first opportunity. It’s a compulsion; I can’t help it. It’s my version of checking out bathroom medicine cabinets. I tell ya, though, I don’t know a better way of finding out what makes someone tick.
My wonderful and long-suffering wife Nancy resigned herself to my bibliophilia a long time ago; she rarely reads for pleasure. My two wonderful boys (Ben and Jacob) will do so, if bored or threatened. I still have hopes of infecting them with the bug.
Quant a la meva bibliotecaI decided in high school that I wanted to be a “well-read man”, whatever I thought that meant. So I pushed myself into reading a wide range of genres, and lo and behold, ended up liking a lot of it. Many of my books are dear and old friends that I revisit every so often. But I sadly resign myself that I'll never again open most of them, and that there's also a ton of great books out there I'll never read. Stupid mortality...
I love good writing, whatever the genre. I love good art, too, so to me a lifelong fascination with comic strips, comic books and graphic novels is only natural. They so effectively and enjoyably combine art and writing that it's worth the veiled glances when I bring a "Dilbert" book to work. Besides, it entertains my co-workers at lunch when I read "Zits" and snort milk out my nose.
My rating system is admittedly personal and subjective. I’ll grudgingly acknowledge that Dostoevsky’s books are a slightly higher art form than “Calvin and Hobbes”. But I enjoy that little social misfit and his stuffed tiger a heckuva lot more, and so it gets a higher score.
And finally, if I may put in a plug for a terrific book: Gail Barth has written and published a wonderful collection of wisdom and self-deprecating humor that draws on her many years of experience teaching high school English. It can be ordered through her website at www.gailbarth.com. She will even inscribe it for you. No audiobook, but if you include a phone number, I’m sure she’d be happy to read chapters to you on your cellphone while you take your morning constitutional. She’s just that kind of lady.